Winter Vacation Scheme 2017 at Herbert Smith Freehills

Insight / Vacation Scheme (< 4 Weeks)
London Central London and City
Review Date
£20,000 - £21,999


About You
The Organisation
Everything Else


About You

Role Description

Vacation scheme student, spent time in 2 departments

1. To what extent did you enjoy the insight?

Brilliant fortnight - everybody in the firm was so welcoming and friendly during the scheme. We got to speak to people from all levels of the organisation and carry out work which was of actual use to people (i.e. whilst assessed, they weren't made up tasks).


2. To what extent did you feel valued during your time at the company or firm?

People went out of their way to explain things, include me in things (e.g. Xmas lunches) and gave me work whilst ensuring I was comfortable in what I was being asked to do. Everybody in the department was more than happy to chat about their time at the firm.


3. How much guidance/support did you receive during the insight?

Lots - the graduate recruitment team kept in regular contact and gave updates throughout the week. Both of my supervisors in their respective departments explained the work I was given, and introduced me to other people who also gave me work to do. If I was unsure of anything/needed clarification, I always felt able to ask.


4. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and information you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?

Brilliant way to determine if a career in corporate law was for me. Sitting in the office and being in a real environment was great as you picked up on nuances - observing how your supervisor dealt with clients on the phone, interacted with colleagues etc. was useful. Coffee chats I arranged with trainees/associates from various departments were a useful way to gain information in an informal setting whilst more formal presentations from each department allowed you to gain a better overview of each practice area.

We also got seminars on key skills such as networking to ensure we made the most of our time here.


The Organisation

5. How well structured was the insight?

Really well structured and communicated with a packed programme of events - social, networking and more formal situations. Everything ran smoothly and it was easy to know what was planned for each day.


6. How was the general atmosphere during your insight?

Brilliant. As there is an established system of having vac. scheme students in the firm, people knew how to help you/answer any queries. You always felt like you were part of the firm. The social events were good fun too and I got on really well with everybody else on the scheme, which says something about the selection process I think.


7. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?

Provided sessions on skills useful for a career in the law, ensured that feedback was given by your supervisors at the end of each week, from your interview day for the scheme and your overall performance on the scheme. This was given prior to the training contract interview at the end of the scheme.


8. To what extent did the insight help you to understand what it would be like to have a full time role with the company or firm?

Really useful - especially from discussions with trainees.


9. How much did the insight help you in understanding the company culture?

Great to be involved/see the firm on a day to day basis rather than them selling it on an open day.


10. How valuable was the content in helping you to decide on your future career path?

Really useful - I'd like to work here in the future.


Other Information

11. Were you paid or reimbursed adequately for this experience?

Paid well for the work I did on the scheme. I spent most of it on accommodation as I do not live in London, however the amount given was generous I thought.

12. Were there opportunities for networking and meeting other employees of the company or firm?

Yes - partner drinks, trainee events and general meetings allowed me to chat to a variety of people.


13. How were the networking/ social event opportunities?

Really useful and well structured; everybody present at the events was chatty and open to asking questions. I liked that they were keen to know you as a person/felt like they were genuinely interested in what you had to say.


14. Did you find out about activities that employees can get involved in outside of work?

Yes - pro bono initiatives were well discussed, as were social and sports clubs. This was mentioned at presentation events however I also gained information by asking the people I met.


15. Would you recommend this insight to a friend?

Yes - it has been a brilliant experience and I have enjoyed every minute. A great way to see what it is like to work at the firm and gain information about life as a solicitor. Well structured and a great culture/place to work.